I was really busy this week. These are both fairly short reads, although I’ll admit, it is Sunday night and I just finished Worth Dying For, so it took the full 7 days to finish both of the books. Whoops!
Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican- Worth Dying For
If you have never read any books about our Navy SEALS, their dedication, leadership, selection process or history, you will find this book by Rorke Denver very interresting. Denver was a Navy SEAL, author of Damn Few, and you probably recognize him from his lead role in Act of Valor. I would specifically advise reading it if you are a leader in your business, profession, or industry. Denver points out lessons you can learn and apply to be a better you and in the end make an impact on a better America.
Worth Dying For reads like a professional speaker script at a conference, maybe even TED Talk layout. But don’t let this stop you from opening the book, Denver is a master communicator. He ties together thoughts from his world, being a Navy SEAL, to bringing the nation together. Denver highlights on topics such as; what makes a Hero, how we can all serve our country (even without joining the military), what makes America great, how to apply leadership in the military to your every day life and what this nation needs moving forward. He mentions his ideas for how to be a better nation for those who serve in our military. Each chapter ends with a “Trident Take-Away” that wraps up the main ideas in each chapter. Many reviews on the book report that he “answers America’s most burning questions about war, heroism, and what it all means for America’s future.”
As a military spouse and someone who has read books such as Denver’s first book Damn Few, Relentless Strike by Sean Naylor and Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell, there were a few chapters that seemed redundant in nature. However, Denver wrote them in a way that a civilian with no connection to the military can read and understand the thoughts presented. His book truly is a call to the nation for change, for a better us, for strength, and ideas to protect America’s future.
“If you want to guarantee failure as a leader, try achieving universal agreement on almost anything. If you can get most of your people on the same page, consider yourself lucky, and press ahead. Sometimes you need to press ahead even if you can’t. In general, to get significant things accomplished, you have to be willing to crush a few souls.”- Worth Dying For, Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican
S.J. Watson – Before I Go to Sleep
Imagine if you woke up every single day with no memories. None. You look next to you and see a man you don’t recognize, so you find your way to the bathroom to regroup and think things through only to find a wall of photos of you with that man. The photos are labeled with your name and his…he is your husband. Every. Single. Day. Christine wakes up to this, and she has to be told over and over again that she has amnesia. That, readers, is scary enough for me. But this thriller takes the horror a step further. Christine gets a call every morning telling her to look in a secret place for a journal she has been keeping. She reads her journal and starts to get more and more memories back…by the time her husband gets home she has remembered details from her life; she even gets flashbacks with glimpses into her past. As she goes through her days, she starts asking her husband questions, all the while, pretending not to know the answers. The funny thing is, he is lying to her. He hides things from her and sometimes he even changes his answers day to day. Every night before she goes to sleep Christine documents what she learned, her husband’s answers, and the flashes of her past. When she wakes up the next morning, she remembers nothing. WHAT?!
Okay, so I don’t think I can tell you much more without giving away some spoilers. I had reservations about this book. I thought maybe it would be slow, and the amnesia idea has been played out in Hollywood plenty. However, I was completely addicted. I couldn’t wait to get more information and figure out Christine’s life story along with her. The ending was crazy, in fact, I may have been a little upset that it ended. I needed an epilogue.
Regardless Before I Go to Sleep was a fantastic thriller of a book.
“I cannot imagine how I will cope when I discover that my life is behind me, has already happened, and I have nothing to show for it. No treasure house of collection, no wealth of experience, no accumulated wisdom to pass on. What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?” Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson
“Progress? You call this progress?” I was almost shouting now, anger spilled out of me as if I could no longer contain it. “If that’s what it is, then I don’t know if I want it.” The tears were flooding now, uncontrollable. “I don’t want it!” I closed my eyes and abandoned myself to my grief. It felt better, somehow, to be helpless.” Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson
Cover photo is of my kids with Rorke Denver at a book signing for Damn Few, in early 2013. EXCELLENT book. Highly recommended read.